Archives for category: Fake News

The AFT commissioned a highly reputable polling form to find out how voters think about the big education issues. The poll was conducted after the election last November. Bottom line: Voters want better, well/resourced public schools; few are interested in the Republican agenda of fighting “wokeness,” censoring books, and choice.

New Polling Reveals GOP/McCarthy Schools Agenda Is Unpopular and at Odds with Parents’ Priorities

Latest Data Show Parents, Voters Reject Culture War Agenda, Support Academic Focus and Safe Schools Instead

WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers today released new national polling that shows voters overwhelmingly reject House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s anti-school, culture war agenda. Instead, voters want to see political leaders prioritize what kids need to succeed in school: strong fundamental academic skills and safe and welcoming school environments. 

“The latest education poll tells us loud and clear: Voters, including parents, oppose McCarthy’s agenda to prioritize political fights in schools and instead support real solutions, like getting our kids and teachers what they need to recover and thrive,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. 

“Rather than reacting to MAGA-driven culture wars, voters overwhelmingly say they want lawmakers to get back to basics: to invest in public schools and get educators the resources they need to create safe and welcoming environments, boost academic skills and pave pathways to career, college and beyond.”

According to Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates: “One key weakness of the culture war agenda is that voters and parents reject the idea that teachers today are pushing a ‘woke’ political agenda in the schools. Most have high confidence in teachers. Voters see the ‘culture war’ as a distraction from what’s important and believe that politicians who are pushing these issues are doing so for their own political benefit.”

Polling conducted by Hart Research Associates from Dec. 12-17, 2022, among 1,502 registered voters nationwide, including 558 public school parents, shows that support for and trust in public schools and teachers remains incredibly strong: 

  • 93 percent of respondents said improving public education is an important priority for government officials.
  • 66 percent said the government spends too little on education; 69 percent want to see more spending.
  • By 29 points, voters said their schools teach appropriate content, with an even greater trust in teachers.
  • Voters who prioritized education supported Democrats by 8 points.
  • Top education priorities for voters include providing:
    • students with strong fundamental academic skills; 
    • opportunities for all children to succeed, including through career and technical education and greater mental health supports, as examples; and 
    • a safe and welcoming environment for kids to learn.
  • According to voters, the most serious problems facing schools include:
    • teacher shortages;
    • inadequate funding; 
    • unsafe schools; and 
    • pandemic learning loss. (And, critically, voters and parents are looking forward to find solutions: by 85 percent to 15 percent, they want Congress to focus on improving schools through greater support, rather than through McCarthy’s investigation agenda.)

“COVID was terrible for everyone,” added Weingarten. “Educators and parents took on the challenges of teaching, learning and reconnecting and are now asking elected officials to focus on the building blocks of student success. Instead, legislators in 45 states have proposed hundreds of laws making that harder—laws seeking to ban books from school libraries; restrict what teachers can say about race, racism, LGBTQIA+ issues and American history; and limit the school activities in which transgender students can participate. Voters are saying that not only are these laws bad policy—they’re also bad politics.”

In state after state in the November midterms, voters elected pro-public education governors and school board candidates and rejected far-right attacks on teachers and vulnerable LGBTQIA+ students. 

The survey’s confidence interval is ±3.0 percentage points.

Click here for toplines, here for the poll memo and here for the poll slides.

Our reader, who signs in as Joel, has frequently noted the bias in the media towards negativity and “worst case scenario.” How many stories were published predicting a Red Wave, lamenting the dozens of seats that Democrats would lose, predicting doom and gloom. There is also its problem of “both-sides-ism,” as though the scientist who says the sun rises in the west is as equal in credibility as the one who says it rises in the East. I leave his own sentence structure unchanged.

I asked Joel to describe himself. He wrote:

I am a retired Trade Union activist who sees the attacks on America’s teachers as an attack on the most visible and the largest of Americas unions.
It is no accident that whether the Billionaire oligarchs / plutocrats / politicians who attack public schools and their teachers consider themselves socially progressive or are religio fascist , they abhor Unions.

He writes:

So for two years now I have been pointing out crime statistics on Diane’s blog and on Union Facebook page’s. Knowing that the American Public is always a sucker for the big bad Black man coming to get you; or simply the Willie Horton story . Which actually predates Willie Horton going back to Goldwater and his Nation of Moral decay and Nixon’s war on drugs. Which targeted minorities disproportionately.

Both on crime and inflation the supposed “Liberal Media” did its best to prove Trump correct in his charges against them. Whether it was intentional or not, the hype was far greater than the reality. For a group of people who profess to despise Trump and his merry band of seditious Neo Nazi White Christian Nationalists, they did their best to bring them back to power. Crime sells advertising .

They say, Inflation is the worst it has ever been— except at its peak, it was half the rate of the 1980s and accompanied by 3.5% unemployment now, not 8%. Endless stories of the terrible economy.

Last Fall when they started blasting away, it was under 5% . With gas lower than it had been from 2011-14 . Wage inflation was already moderating. Tough to have a wage price spiral without the wage component. The media frenzy did allow Corporations with virtual monopoly power to take the Public’s expectation of inflation and deliver it to them, tacking on record profits far above increased costs.

But Crime is the issue that may have cost Democrats 4-5 seats in NY and with it the House. All in Down State districts formally represented by Democrats . Far more harm done to Democrats on MSNBC , CNN, WaPo and the NY Times than on Fox News, the NY Post and the Wall Street Journal”’…. No one who follows the Murdoch rags is voting Democratic to begin with.

On top of a redistricting enabled by Cuomo appointed Judges as part of bone thrown to Republicans when they controlled the State Senate with the help of Cuomo’s turncoat IDC caucus. On top of Adams and Suozzi running around like they were Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, there were 800 stories a month in 2022 about crime in the NYC Media Market vs 130 a month in deBlasio’s last term ending in 2021. Talk about manufactured consent.

What was the reality. Last year there were fewer murders than 2011 a year Bloomberg was running around calling NYC the safest big City in the Nation . This year with a 13% reduction there will be fewer murders than 2012 the next to last year he was in office when he was taking bows for how safe the City was .

But not only lower than 2012; significantly lower than every year between 2012 all the way till when America was GREAT in 1960.

Your odds of being injured on a 2 mile ride in your car are greater than being injured in a violent crime in the NYC Subway. The murder rate in NYC truly does make it one of the safest cities in America with bail reform having little or no impact on recidivism.

Of course that is not the narrative from CNN, MSNBC, nor the local mass media. The Press made it sound that murders were like the terrible 60s when there were 1000 murders a year by mid decade . The 70s when there 1500 , the 80s when there were 1800 to 2000 and the early 90s when there were 2400 murders . There were 468 in 2021 and 379 as of last week in 2022 with only 6 weeks to go.

So here is the thing . Excluding the Garbage dump in the Harbor (Staten Island) that should be turned over to NJ. 82 % of Manhattan residents voted for Democrats. Ah but they are just woke liberals . 79% of Bronx Residents voted for Democrats not so woke , 73% of Brooklyn and 67% of Queens residents. So where all this supposed crime was happening it was not a concern enough to sway voters .

Yet in the NYC suburbs (all six counties) where all the seats were lost. Crime was lower in almost every major category recorded. 2021 Lower than not just 2020 but most years back to 2017 the last year listed in the state crime registry. The 100 million dollar Republican Willie Horton Campaign supplement by the ” Liberal Media ” and their 800 stories a month.

Heck of a Job Joe Scarborough, mission accomplished. And I know he is a Conservative Republican but he also claims to be a never Trump-er. Perhaps they will give him an extra hour to cover Hunter Biden’s Laptop.

Like Robert Hubbell, I have been perplexed about the statements on news stories that police are trying to identify the motive of the man who broke into the Pelosi home, shouting “Where’s Nancy?” and attacked her husband.

Rightwing media and prominent figures such as Don Trump Jr. have spread lies (amplified by Elon Musk), but the law authorities know what happened and they are charging the assailant with a long list of felonies.

I’m not putting the quote into italics so that you can see Hubbell’s use of italics.

Hubbell writes:

The attempted assassination of Speaker Nancy Pelosi has struck at the heart of America’s political dysfunction and mass delusion. Major media outlets are going out of their way to caution that “the assailant’s motives are unknown” and limiting their description of what occurred to “an attack on Paul Pelosi” without acknowledging that the intended target was the person third-in-line for the presidency of the US. Right-wing media is in full conspiracy mode, trafficking in wild and baseless claims that are insulting, defamatory, and offensive to a grieving family and a severely wounded victim. Elon Musk inflamed the situation by tweeting and deleting a bogus “opinion” article from a media outlet known for peddling bizarre conspiracy theories, e.g., that Hillary Clinton died before the 2016 election and her “body double” debated Trump.

          At a time when the focus should be on the recovery of the victim, the safety of Speaker Pelosi, and the hate speech that provoked the attack, the media seems to be talking about nearly everything and anything else. It is maddening and sickening.

          First, as to the attack on Paul Pelosi: The assailant illegally entered the Pelosi home armed with a hammer, zip ties, duct tape, and a “list of people he wanted to target.” The assailant, David Depape, found Paul Pelosi asleep in an upstairs bedroom and confronted him, demanding to know “Where’s Nancy?”  Paul Pelosi engaged the unknown intruder in conversation and managed to surreptitiously dial 9-1-1. Pelosi kept the line open so an operator could hear the exchange in which Paul Pelosi signaled that the was in peril without saying those words—to avoid provoking Depape. Pelosi’s strategy worked, giving police enough time to arrive and capture Depape as he and Pelosi were struggling to gain control over Depape’s hammer.  

          Second, erroneous reporting by a local Fox News affiliate in San Francisco included details that were later retracted—but not before the falsehoods spread like wildfire on Twitter. A right-wing website in Santa Monica that frequently publishes falsehoods ran an “opinion” piece on Saturday that was clearly labeled as opinion (using the abbreviation IMHO—”in my humble opinion”). The author “opined” a wild scenario that I won’t describe (although Washington Post and New York Timesrepeated it in detail). Key details of the “opinion” piece were later explicitly refuted by prosecutors in San Francisco. For clarity, Depape illegally entered the Pelosi home with a list of “targets” and a hammer, duct tape, and zip ties. Depape was not previously known to Paul Pelosi, who was asleep in an upstairs room when Depape broke into the house. And reporting by the Fox affiliate about the state of dress of the assailant was later retracted.

          Third, many right-wing disinformation specialists immediately began claiming that the attack was a “false flag” operation designed to affect the midterms.

          Finally, Elon Musk then tweeted a link to the baseless “opinion” piece that speculated about what “might” have happened preceding the break-in. Musk deleted the tweet shortly thereafter, but not before it was exposed to his 120 million followers. The damage was done. No amount of truth-telling or retractions by reckless Fox affiliates will overcome the momentum created by Musk’s tweet. See NYTimesElon Musk, in a Tweet, Shares Link From Site Known to Publish False News and WaPoPaul Pelosi attack prompts Elon Musk and political right to spread misinformation.

          In short order, Elon Musk and a reckless Fox affiliate converted a near-miss national tragedy into a cesspool of disinformation and delusion. In the process, the Pelosi family is being subjected to a second trauma that may be greater than the original assassination attempt and injuries suffered by Paul Pelosi.

           It is vital that we speak the truth about the cause and nature of the attack.

          As to the cause, there is a direct line between the hate speech and coded incitement to violence that has become accepted in the Republican Party. Marjorie Taylor Greene said that Speaker Pelosi had committed a crime “punishable by death”—a tweet greeted by a collective yawn by GOP leadership in the House. But the dog whistle attacks on Speaker Pelosi have been occurring for decades. See VoxRepublicans demonized Nancy Pelosi long before the attack on her husband.

          Max Boot has it right in this essay in WaPoDon’t blame ‘both sides.’ The right is driving political violence. Boot writes,

There is little doubt about what is driving political violence: the ascendance of Trump. The former president and his followers use violent rhetoric of extremes: Trump calls President Biden an “enemy of the state,” attacks the FBI as “monsters,” refers to the “now Communist USA” and even wrote that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has a “DEATH WISH” for disagreeing with him. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has expressed support for executing Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats.

          As to the nature of the attack, major media outlets are missing the point. In the main, the incident is being described as “an assault on Paul Pelosi.” That description is true, but misleading. Depape was not looking for Paul Pelosi, but for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The fact that Nancy Pelosi was not home at the time does not change the essential nature of the attack or its intended victim, which makes it an attempted assassination. Why major media outlets seem to be minimizing the true nature of the crime is puzzling. Indeed, as many readers noted, the NYTimes reported the incident “below the fold” in its Saturday edition. Would the same low-key coverage have been given if the intended victim was a former president whose spouse was savagely beaten when the assailant could not find the former president after breaking into their home?

Also puzzling is the extraordinary caution of media outlets that make the point that Depape’s “motives are unknown.” Really? Journalists spend all day every day speculating about the outcome of the 2022 election, but they are unable to make a reasonable inference that Depape was looking to assassinate Nancy Pelosi given that he broke into her home, was calling “Where’s Nancy?”, and was armed with a hammer, duct tape, and zip ties? Oh, and there’s the fact that he posted conspiracy theories about 2020 election and the January 6thattack.

The Los Angeles Times meticulously debunked the conspiracy theories circulated by MAGA-nuts about the attack on Paul Pelosi in the family home in San Francisco.

Extremists spun a tale in which Paul Pelosi met his attacker in a gay bar, came home drunk, and quarreled with a male prostitute. The perpetrator was not a rightwing extremist, they said, but a follower of Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

The L.A. Times patiently explains that none of these claims are factual.

The Break-in:

DePape told officers in a recorded interview last week that he broke through a glass door in the home using a hammer, according to the criminal complaint. He said Paul Pelosi was in bed at the time and “appeared surprised” by him. DePape allegedly told Paul Pelosi to wake up and that he was “looking for Nancy,” to which Paul Pelosi responded that she wasn’t there.

Police body cameras showed that a glass door in the back of the house was broken.

Paul Pelosi called 911 and said there was an intruder in the house, and the man was waiting for Nancy Pelosi.

DePape told police in a separate interview that once he was inside the home, he wanted to tie up Paul Pelosi so he could sleep because he was “tired from having had to carry a backpack.” DePape allegedly took out zip ties from his pocket so he could restrain Paul Pelosi, but Pelosi moved to another part of the house. DePape allegedly stopped him and they went back into the bedroom.

Paul Pelosi went into the bathroom while they were talking and called 911 on his phone, DePape told police. DePape said he “felt like Pelosi’s actions compelled him to respond” and that there was “no way the police were going to forget about the call.” DePape said he stayed after the 911 call because “like the American founding fathers with the British, he was fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender.”

When police arrived within minutes, they encountered the two men struggling over a hammer.

DePape allegedly pulled the hammer from Paul Pelosi and swung it, hitting him in the head, authorities said. Police restrained DePape; Paul Pelosi appeared to be unconscious.

What was the attacker’s motivations?

DePape allegedly revealed in an interview with police that he “was going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her,” according to complaint. He would “let her go” if she told the “truth” but if she “lied,” he would break “her kneecaps.” DePape told authorities that he saw Nancy as the “leader of the pack of lies told by the Democratic Party” and that by breaking her kneecaps, she would have to be wheeled into Congress.

Conspiracy theorists assert that Pelosi and his attacker knew one another, and that when the police arrived, the attacker was wearing only his undershorts.

On Sunday night, former President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., retweeted an image of men’s underwear and a hammer, a nod to the unfounded conspiracy.

In their investigation, however, police interviewed a witness who was working as a private security guard at a nearby address, and said that they saw someone in “all black, carrying a large black bag on his back” walking towards the Pelosis’ home. The witness also said they heard banging on the door or the car and then sirens a minute or two later.

On Monday morning, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene suggested in a tweet the attacker knew Pelosi, calling him, “Paul Pelosi’s friend.”

But the indictment directly contradicts several portions of this conspiracy theory.

Paul Pelosi told police while he was being transported to the San Francisco General Hospital that he had never seen DePape before that night and he was asleep when DePape broke into his bedroom, according to the complaint. He also told the dispatcher during the 911 call that he didn’t know the identity of the man who broke into his home, but that the man said his name is David.

DePape also confirmed Pelosi’s account, telling them he broke through a glass door to get access to the house.

Right wingers claim that DePape was actually tied to left wing groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa, but the reality is that he has posted racist, anti-Semitic, QAnon rants.

DePape is unhinged, like the guy who brought an assault weapon to a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C., believing that Hillary Clinton was a pedophile and had hidden children in the basement. Pure QAnon. Loony Tunes.

But most Republicans believe that Trump won the election in 2020, ignoring the fact that Biden decisively won the electoral college and had seven million votes more than Trump. They believe this even though Trump’s Attorney General told him he lost, as did his White House Counsel.

Where did all these people come from who trash democracy and scoff at free and fair elections?

Peter Greene wants to save time for all organizations that react to the latest NAEP scores. His press release works whether scores are up, down, or flat.

He writes:

It’s time once again to greet the release of another set of data from the NAEP testing machine, which means everyone is warming up their Hot Take generator. But if, like me, you’re getting tired of writing a response to the latest NAEPery, here’s a handy news release that will let you mad lib your way to NAEPy wisdom.

The new scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), known as The Nation’s Report Card, have been released, providing important data about [insert your preferred education policy area]. The recent crisis in [select your favorite policy-adjacent crisis] has clearly created a burgeoning issue of [select whatever Bad Thing you feel will most scare your audience in the direction of your preferred policy].

Says [head of your organization], “The new scores provide important evidence that now is the time for [insert whatever policy action your group always supports]. Clearly the [rise/drop/stagnation] in scores among [whichever subgroup cherry picking best suits your point] proves exactly what we have been arguing for [however long you’ve been at this.]”

[Insert paragraph of data carefully selected and crunched for your purposes. Add a graph if you like. People really dig graphs.]

“This is a clear indication,” says [your favorite go-to education expert], “that it is long past time to [do that thing your organization has been trying to get people to do for years]. Clearly [our preferred solution] is needed.” [Insert further sales pitch here as needed.]

You can expand on this if you wish, but make sure that you definitely do not–

* provide context for the data that you include

* offer perspective from NAEP’s many critics

* absolutely never ever reference the fact that the NAEP folks are extraordinarily clear that folks should not try to suggest a causal relationship between scores and anything else.

As always, the main lesson of NAEP is that contrary to the expectations of so many policy wonks, cold hard data does not actually solve a thing.

The NAEP remains a data-rich Rorschach test that tells us far more about the people interpreting the data than it does about the people from whom the data was collected. Button up your overcoat, prepare for greater-than-usual pearl-clutching and solution-pitching from all the folks who still think the pandemic shutdown is a great opportunity to do [whatever it is they have already been trying to do].

Blogger-teacher Steven Singer lists five big lies about public schools that Republicans are pushing.

Be it noted that he leaves out a sixth big lie about public schools: some GOP nuts claim that public schools are putting litter boxes in classrooms for students who say they are cats. No one has identified a classroom where this has happened, but why should facts get in the way of propaganda?

Singer begins:

Critical race theory, pornographic school books, and other bogeymen haunt their platforms without any evidence that this stuff is a reality.

Doug Mastriano, the GOP nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania, actually promises to ban pole dancing in public schools.

Pole dancing!

“On day one, the sexualization of our kids, pole dancing, and all this other crap that’s going on will be forbidden in our schools,” he says.

Mr. Mastriano, I hate to tell you this, but the only school in the commonwealth where there was anything like what you describe was one of those charter schools you love so much. The Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School in Philadelphia used to run an illegal nightclub in the cafeteria after dark.

But at authentic public schools with things like regulations and school boards – no. That just doesn’t happen here.

Maybe if your plan to waste taxpayer dollars on universal school vouchers goes through you’ll get your wish.

Singer goes on to list the following five lies:

1. Teaching boys to hate themselves.

2. Teaching kids to be gay.

3. Teaching kids to be trans.

Open the link to read about the other two.

They are all smears, lies, and propaganda.

Donald Trump may be the most litigious person in the United States. On March 24, 2022, Trump filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and various Democratic Party leaders for engaging in a conspiracy against him in 2016. The federal judge tossed the case out yesterday.

Believe me, this is a fun read. The judge is frankly mystified by the legal reasoning and the lack of evidence.

Here is the beginning:

Plaintiff initiated this lawsuit on March 24, 2022, alleging that “the Defendants, blinded by political ambition, orchestrated a malicious conspiracy to disseminate patently false and injurious information about Donald J. Trump and his campaign, all in the hopes of destroying his life, his political career and rigging the 2016 Presidential Election in favor of Hillary Clinton.” (DE 177, Am. Compl. ¶ 9). On this general premise, Plaintiff brings a claim for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), predicated on the theft of trade secrets,

Case 2:22-cv-14102-DMM Document 267 Entered on FLSD Docket 09/08/2022 Page 2 of 65
obstruction of justice, and wire fraud (Count I). He additionally brings claims for: injurious falsehood (Count III); malicious prosecution (Count V); violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) (Count VII); theft of trade secrets under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) (Count VIII); and violations of the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) (Count IX). The Amended Complaint also contains counts for various conspiracy charges and theories of agency and vicarious liability. (Counts II, IV, VI, and X–XVI).
Plaintiff’s theory of this case, set forth over 527 paragraphs in the first 118 pages of the Amended Complaint, is difficult to summarize in a concise and cohesive manner. It was certainly not presented that way. Nevertheless, I will attempt to distill it here.
The short version: Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants “[a]cting in concert . . . maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 1). The Defendants effectuated this alleged conspiracy through two core efforts. “[O]n one front, Perkins Coie partner Mark Elias led an effort to produce spurious ‘opposition research’ claiming to reveal illicit ties between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.” (Id. ¶ 3). To that end, Defendant Hillary Clinton and her campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and lawyers for the Campaign and the Committee allegedly hired Defendant Fusion GPS to fabricate the Steele Dossier. (Id. ¶ 4). “[O]n a separate front, Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussman headed a campaign to develop misleading evidence of a bogus ‘back channel’ connection between e-mail servers at Trump Tower and a Russian- owned bank.” (Id.). Clinton and her operatives allegedly hired Defendant Rodney Joffe to exploit his access to Domain Name Systems (“DNS”) data, via Defendant Neustar, to investigate and ultimately manufacture a suspicious pattern of activity between Trump-related servers and a Russian bank with ties to Vladimir Putin, Alfa Bank. (Id. ¶ 3). As a result of this “fraudulent

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evidence,” the Federal Bureau of Investigations (“FBI”) commenced “several large-scale investigations,” which were “prolonged and exacerbated by the presence of a small faction of Clinton loyalists who were well-positioned within the Department of Justice”—Defendants James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Kevin Clinesmith, and Bruce Ohr. (Id. ¶ 7). And while this was ongoing, the Defendants allegedly “seized on the opportunity to publicly malign Donald J. Trump by instigating a full-blown media frenzy.” (Id. ¶ 6). As a result of this “multi-pronged attack,” Plaintiff claims to have amassed $24 million in damages.1 (Id. ¶ 527).
Defendants now move to dismiss the Amended Complaint as “a series of disconnected political disputes that Plaintiff has alchemized into a sweeping conspiracy among the many individuals Plaintiff believes to have aggrieved him.” (DE 226 at 1). They argue that dismissal is warranted because Plaintiff’s claims are both “hopelessly stale”—that is, foreclosed by the applicable statutes of limitations—and because they fail on the merits “in multiple independent respects.” (Id. at 2). As they view it, “[w]hatever the utilities of [the Amended Complaint] as a fundraising tool, a press release, or a list of political grievances, it has no merit as a lawsuit.” (Id.). I agree. In the discussion that follows, I first address the Amended Complaint’s structural deficiencies. I then turn to subject matter jurisdiction and the personal jurisdiction arguments raised by certain Defendants. Finally, I assess the sufficiency of the allegations as to each of the substantive counts.

I had not planned to write anything more about the child who was raped in Ohio, became pregnant with the rapist’s semen, but had to go to Indiana for an abortion. But then someone wrote a comment here implying that the whole story sounded like fake news. As I showed in my original post, there have been many reports of children who were raped and impregnated. Some got abortions. Others did not.

I’m old-fashioned. I don’t think children should be raped. If they are, they should not bear a child. It’s monstrous. The rapist should be found and punished. In my limited view, those who want a 10-year-old child to have a baby are sadists.

In the Ohio case, Republicans jumped all over the story and called it fake news. It was not. The right showed themselves to be heartless, cruel fools.

Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times reports how the Right humiliated themselves in their eagerness to discredit the story and the child.

She writes:

Not long after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, an Indiana obstetrician and gynecologist named Caitlin Bernard told The Indianapolis Star about a call she’d gotten from a doctor in Ohio. The Ohio doctor had a 10-year-old patient who was six weeks and three days pregnant. An Ohio law banning abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected — usually around the sixth week of pregnancy — had just gone into effect, so the girl needed to cross state lines for care. The report, being illustrative of the ghoulish impact of abortion prohibitions, went viral, and Joe Biden mentioned it in a speech.

The right, however, quickly convinced itself that the tale was dubious and probably false. The conservative website PJ Media claimed, last Friday, that the account had “many of the elements of a hoax.” On Monday, Ohio’s Republican attorney general, Dave Yost, went on Fox News to say that he knew of no police reports about a 10-year-old rape victim. “The more you learn about this, the more unbelievable it becomes,” said the host, Jesse Watters.

A Wall Street Journal editorial on Tuesday described the report as “fanciful,” noting that “no one has been able to identify the girl or where she lives,” as if that information should be public. “Hey, so did they catch the guy who raped the Ohio ten year old yet?” the National Review writer Michael Brendan Dougherty tweeted last week, seemingly sarcastically.

The answer to Dougherty’s question is now yes. Officials say that a 27-year-old named Gerson Fuentes was arrested on Tuesday and has confessed. The children’s services department in Columbus alerted the police about the rape in June. Rather than apologize to Caitlin Bernard for calling her a liar, many on the right have started attacking her for not reporting the rape herself, even though the police already knew about it by the time she saw the girl.

On Wednesday, Watters displayed a photograph of Bernard and said, “According to reporting from PJ Media, she has a history of failing to report child abuse cases.” Then Indiana’s attorney general, Todd Rokita, appeared on Watters’s show, describing Bernard as an “abortion activist acting as a doctor,” and announcing she was under investigation.

It looks like the only thing Bernard did wrong, though, is to embarrass Republicans. On Thursday afternoon, The Star reported that Bernard reported the abortion to the Indiana Department of Health and the Department of Child Services, as state law requires. In a statement, her lawyer said she’s considering legal action against Rokita and others who have “smeared” her.

This whole hideous episode has demonstrated the extent to which conservatives are unwilling to grapple with the reality of the abortion regime they are imposing on much of the country. There is nothing wrong with seeing a single-source news report and deciding you want to withhold judgment until more information emerges. But that’s not what happened here. Instead there was sneering incredulity, as if a raped 10-year-old being denied an abortion wasn’t an inevitable consequence of an abortion ban without a rape exception.

Surely right-wingers, who love to accuse their enemies of pedophilia, understand that children are raped in America. The Columbus Dispatch, which broke the news of Fuentes’s arrest, reported that there were 52 abortions performed on children 15 and under in Ohio in 2020, roughly one a week in just one state.

In countries that have banned abortion, there have been a number of high-profile cases of very young pregnant rape victims. In Nicaragua in 2003, feminist activists fought to help a 9-year-old obtain a therapeutic abortion. When it emerged that she’d been raped by her stepfather, the activists faced legal harassment over accusations that they’d helped cover up the crime.

Just this year, a judge in Brazil tried to block an abortion for an 11-year-old who had been raped. “Do you want to choose the baby’s name?” he asked her. “Would the baby’s father agree to give it up for adoption? Would you bear it a little longer?” Why would anyone think that similar laws won’t lead to similar results here?

It’s been especially maddening to see people on the right smugly insist that the girl in Ohio could have had a legal abortion in her state. In a New York Post column casting doubt on the story, the law professor Jonathan Turley wrote, “Ohio says abortions are allowed ‘to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman,’ which would certainly be the case for a 10-year-old.”

His certainty is entirely unearned. The Ohio law actually saysthat abortion is permitted only in cases of “medical emergency” requiring the “immediate performance or inducement of an abortion” in order to prevent death or irreversible bodily harm that “delay in the performance or inducement of the abortion would create.” This language is vague and open to interpretation. It’s obvious to me that a pregnant 10-year-old is an immediate medical emergency. But if you were an abortion provider in Ohio, would you stake your career, and perhaps your freedom, on prosecutors like Yost giving you the benefit of the doubt?

“If states write laws that are completely vague about what the requirements are, they can still have abortion on the books, but have an environment in which no physician is willing to provide it,” said the N.Y.U. law professor Melissa Murray.

Roe has been gone for less than three weeks, and the utterly predictable outcomes are already apparent. reportedon a woman in Arizona who learned at 21 weeks that her wanted pregnancy was unviable, but whose doctor is unable to induce an early delivery because of the Supreme Court’s decision. “I really can only describe it as feeling trapped,” she said.

As The Los Angeles Times reported, some patients are being denied methotrexate, a drug used to treat certain cancers and autoimmune conditions, because it’s an abortifacient. Medical professionals aren’t necessarily wrong to worry; according to the newspaper, “In Texas, dispensing methotrexate to someone who uses it to induce a miscarriage after 49 days of gestation is a felony.”

Abortions after about six weeks have been illegal in Texas since S.B. 8, the so-called abortion bounty law, took effect last year, and women have come forward to speak about the trauma they’ve had to endure. NPR reported on a woman named Anna whose water broke on her wedding day, when she was 19 weeks pregnant. The fetus had no chance of surviving, and Anna was at high risk of hemorrhaging or developing sepsis. But doctors said they couldn’t terminate the pregnancy until either the fetus’s heart stopped or her condition worsened. She ended up spending thousands of dollars to fly to Colorado for an abortion, sitting in the front row so she could reach the bathroom quickly in case she had to deliver.

If none of this is what anti-abortion lawmakers intended, nothing is stopping them from amending their laws. Ohio’s statute includes examples of medical emergencies in which abortion is permitted, including pre-eclampsia and prematurely ruptured membranes. If Republicans think “being a child rape victim” ought to be included as well, they should add it.

But they’re unlikely to, because the anti-abortion movement would object. On Thursday, James Bopp, general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, told Politico that under model legislation he’s written, the Ohio girl would have been forced to carry her pregnancy to term. “She would have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child,” he said.

This is, at least, honest. The fury directed at Caitlin Bernard suggests other conservatives aren’t as willing to admit what their laws do.

A regular reader who identifies himself as Joel wrote the following critique of the media’s negative narrative about the economy and crime. He was responding to the Robert Hubbell post about “the Media Doomsday Machine.”

So back in September the BLS [the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics] released the monthly Jobs number. A terribly disappointing 234,000 Jobs +- . It was disappointing because the same economic analysts who could not see a Housing Bubble bigger than the Stay Puff Marshmallow man had predicted 300,000 + . The fact that it was as high or higher than all but a handful of the previous 120 months never seemed to dawn on the talking heads. In October there were 677,000 Jobs added. And at the same time the number for October was adjusted 200,000 higher. It took the media all of 10 seconds to shift the narrative to “oh but inflation”
As stated by some CNBC talking head that day, inflation is an expectations game. If workers expect inflation they will ask for higher wages. If employers expect inflation they will charge more for goods and services. Inflation in September was all of 4.4 ,% high but not earth shaking. Then the (respectable) media ran stories of almost $6 dollar a gallon gas as if that was the norm. Of a Tex-ass couple who goes through 9 gallons of milk a week and was bankrupted by the cost (don’t ask about birth control). Of a Station owner in NJ who spends $1000s a week on gas for his 1970 muscle car and his 2000 Escalade.

Well the message was received, the expectation of inflation was created. Wages now contribute 8.5% of the inflationary spike. Raw materials and supply chain issues 27% of the inflation we see. And excess profits contribute 53% of the price hikes we are seeing. (EPI). It would seem the right people got the right message but it was not the American worker who in spite of all the hype does not have the power to demand wage increases on a broad based scale as they did in the past. In previous inflationary spikes inflation was driven 70% by wage increases . The media hype on inflation prior to the Ukraine war enabled corporations to profit vastly. The expectation was there. Corporate America hopped right on the band wagon. Don’t expect the corporate media to hop on board calling for an excess profits tax, or even to harp on those excess profits. Instead we will hear nonsense about low wage workers holding out for a living wage.

Was it a conscious conspiracy ? Probably not . Is it a combination of of group think and inferior reporting (IMHO) absolutely.

Moving on to Crime in NYC . In a nut shell if NYC was the safest big city in America in 2010 (according to Bloomberg) than how did it get unsafe in 2021 when every Crime Stat released by the NYPD is lower than 2010, when people felt the City was safe.

My favorite NYC crime category is rape. In 2021 there were 1491 reported rapes in NYC up from 1427 in 2020. Women be afraid be very afraid!!!. But wait there were 1755 in 2019 and 1791 rapes in 2018, when everyone thought the City was very safe.

The Right wing media generates a narrative and instead of countering it, the supposedly Liberal MSM run with the story. . Cowardly Democratic politicians who call themselves moderates hop right on board not wanting to seem like they are ignoring an issue.

If Trump was President every Republican would be calling inflation fake news and their Ivermectin downing base would be swallowing it hook line and sinker.

Tom Southern writes in WIRED about the spectacular collapse of Putin’s well-oiled disinformation machine after he ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Very few people—other than a small number of extremists on the right and the left—were fooled by his claims that he was “liberating” Ukraine from its “Nazi” government.

Southern writes:

FOR DECADES NOW, Vladimir Putin has slowly, carefully, and stealthily curated online and offline networks of influence. These efforts have borne lucrative fruit, helping Russia become far more influential than a country so corrupt and institutionally fragile had any right to be. The Kremlin and its proxies had economic holdings across Europe and Africa that would shame some of the smaller 18th-century empires. It had a vast network of useful idiots that it helped get elected and could count on for support, and it controlled much of the day-to-day narrative in multiple countries through online disinformation. And many people had no idea.

While a few big events like the US’ 2016 election and the UK’s Brexit helped bring this meddling to light, many remained unaware or unwilling to accept that Putin’s disinformation machine was influencing them on a wide range of issues. Small groups of determined activists tried to convince the world that the Kremlin had infiltrated and manipulated the economies, politics, and psychology of much of the globe; these warnings were mostly met with silence or even ridicule.

All that changed the moment Russian boots touched Ukrainian soil. Almost overnight, the Western world became overwhelmingly aware of the Kremlin’s activities in these fields, shattering the illusions that allowed Putin’s alternative, Kremlin-controlled information ecosystem to exist outside its borders. As a result, the sophisticated disinformation machinery Putin spent decades cultivating collapsed within days.

RUSSIA’S NETWORK OF influence was as complex as it was sprawling. The Kremlin has spent millions in terms of dollars and hours in Europe alone, nurturing and fostering the populist right (Italy, Hungary, Slovenia), the far right (Austria, France, Slovakia), and even the far left (Cyprus, Greece, Germany). For years, elected politicians in these and other countries have been standing up for Russia’s interests and defending Russia’s transgressions, often peddling Putin’s narratives in the process. Meanwhile, on televisions, computers, and mobile screens across the globe, Kremlin-run media such as RT, Sputnik, and a host of aligned blogs and “news” websites helped spread an alternative view of the real world. Though often marginal in terms of reach in and of themselves (with some notable exceptions, such as Sputnik Mundo), they performed a key role in spreading disinformation to audiences in and outside of Russia.

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